California School Calls Police To Remove 4-year-old With Developmental Issues For Not Wearing A Mask

Officials at a California school called the police to have a 4-year-old boy with developmental issues removed from his classroom because he wouldn’t wear a mask.

The unnamed child — who started transitional kindergarten at Theuerkauf Elementary on August 10 — suffers from sensory issues and has had a hard time with wearing a mask throughout the COVID pandemic.

Unlike the school, healthcare workers have been sympathetic to the boy’s difficulties, making accommodations for him when he became distressed by having to wear a mask during visits to the doctor and dentist.

The boy’s father — only identified as “Shawn” due to safety concerns — claimed that he had begun communicating with the Mountain View Whisman School District about the issue back in the spring, but he said that the superintendent was unresponsive.

Instead of trying to help him find a potential solution to the problem, the school district reportedly told Shawn that his son could just delay attending school until the age of six.

On Thursday, after the child had been denied access to the school since Monday, the boy’s father got into an argument with the school’s principal, Michelle Williams. The father caught the entire incident, including his confrontation with the principal, on video.

The incident began when Williams escorted the boy out of the classroom.

“I welcome him here and I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I want him here but it is our district’s policy to have to wear a mask,” the principal told the boy’s father in the video.

“I am here to serve all our students on our campus,” Williams added. “I cannot keep spending time on this same issue.”

She went on to warn the father, “I’m going to have to have you removed from campus if you do not leave at this time.”

A police officer was then called, who asked Shawn to leave the campus.

“I can’t say what they are doing is wrong; I can’t say what you are doing is wrong,” the officer told the father. “Both sides have valid points. For me, I just have to ensure on the campus as a whole that kids get their education.”

Speaking with the Daily Mail, Shawn said, “They told me to force it on him. They are basically telling me to assault and batter my son.”

“I do have a medical background, I’ve worked extensively in the healthcare environment,” he continued. “I’m well-versed in medical law,” he added. “And in essence, they are breaking it.”

“They feel like they can walk all over it,” Shawn added. “If a patient does not offer consent, they can not touch the patient. We’re going to continue to challenge this.”

According to reporting from the San Francisco Chronicle, “Over the next four days, he brought his son to school and was turned away. He also hired an attorney, who sent the district a cease-and-desist letter, demanding Shawn’s son be allowed to attend school as required by the state’s constitution.”

The father is reportedly considering taking legal action against the school, and has hired an attorney: Tracey Henderson, who works for the California Parents Union.

Speaking about the incident, Henderson asserted that the school had broken the law by refusing to allow the child to attend class.

“The school’s authority in a situation of public health issues, by law, is only to send a sick child home,” Henderson stated.

During a board meeting on Thursday night, the school district suddenly decided to make masks optional.

“We are now in the medium tier, so starting tomorrow, we are now in ‘masks optional’ for students,” Superintendent Ayindé Rudolph said.

Of course, this could change at any moment, as the school district will still be determining whether masks need to be worn on a week-by-week basis based on COVID case numbers.

The school will still require masks on buses, at large events, and for any school visitors.

Shawn has noted that he is unsatisfied with the school district’s lifting of the mask mandate, as they could easily reinstate the mandate at any time. Instead, he wants the district to implement a policy giving parents the ability to choose whether their children are forced to be masked in school.

“I’m watching my son. I’m waking him up every day to go to school, get turned away with tears in his eyes,” the father explained. “He doesn’t know what’s going on, he’s visibly upset, visibly disheveled by getting turned away and rejected.”

“I just think it’s time to move forward, the kids need to see faces, they need to see people smiling, they need to have a brighter outlook on the future in general,” Shawn told KABC-TV.

Rudolph released a statement regarding the incident.

“Our primary responsibility as a school district is the safety of students and staff members in order to create a peaceful learning and working environment for all on our campuses,” the superintendent’s statement read.

Rudolph went on to opine that it was “unfortunate” that the father was recording a video of his confrontation with the principal.

“I’m disappointed that civil discourse is no longer the rule,” the superintendent added.

Board member Christopher Chiang also complained about the father daring to post the video of his confrontation online, stating: “There is so much nasty politics and dangerous rhetoric and ideologies out there, we’re bringing a target to our district when we do that. Please don’t post it online. That changes everything.”